Seven Malian soldiers killed in separate attacks

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Seven Malian soldiers were killed in separate attacks on Saturday, the army said, in the the latest violence in the conflict-ridden Sahel state.

Five soldiers were killed on patrol when their pick-up truck hit a road bomb near the central Malian town of Segou, about 200 kilometres (124 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, the military said.

“A sweep of the area where the incident occurred led to the arrest of two suspects who were closest handed over to the gendarmerie,” the statement additional.

Earlier on Saturday, two soldiers were also killed and three were wounded in a separate attack near the village of Mourdiah, about 200 kilometres (124 miles) north of Bamako, according to the army. 

It additional that the death toll was provisional. 

Mali has been struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that first erupted in the north in 2012, and which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.

Despite the presence of thousands of French and UN troops, the conflict has engulfed central Mali and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. 

Central Mali has become one of the epicentres of the Sahel-wide conflict, where ethnic killings and attacks on government forces are frequent.

Laying roadside bombs — or IEDs — is a shared tactic of jihadist groups in the vicinity.


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